Price: $9.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Grapes of Spain
What They Said:
90 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2007 Vina Honda Monastrell (100% varietal) was raised in stainless steel tanks. Purple-colored, it offers up a fragrant nose of underbrush, mineral, spice box, and blueberry. Layered, mouth-filling, and succulent, this forward effort will offer much pleasure over the next four years.” This monastrell is amongst the best I have tasted this year. Warm plum aromas, with hints of pomegranate and a trace of a spicy, pungent root vegetable quality, lead to a terrific mouthful of inexpensive red wine. Intense pomegranate, cherry and cranberry fruits show plenty of presence and purity. A great deal in everyday drinking red.
What I Think:
(13.5%) 100% Monastrell (or Mourvèdre) – Ruby at its core and thins to garnet on the edges. This one shows cherries with green peppercorn and clove notes on a slightly sweet nose. The wine starts medium bodied with juicy red currant and cherry flavors. A mineral component emerges along with a nice acidity and notes of cedar which keep this well balanced and smooth throughout. The finish is short and slightly sweet with an oak driven creaminess and hints of pepper that lead to a lingering tannic finish. Despite the finish being on the shorter side this is an lively, appealing wine that is well structured and at $10 delivers fair value for the price point.
Price: $19.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Grapes of Spain
What They Said:
Per K&L Wines “This is an incredibly rare, fully mature, Spanish gem. Produced from the steep, slate, terraced vineyards of Bierzo by Spain’s legendary Mariano Garcia (while he was still making wine at Vega Sicilia!), here is a beautiful example of a perfectly aged Spanish wine that has developed quite beautifully in bottle. Produced from 40% Cabernet, 30% Merlot and 30% Mencia, think of it as a supple, balanced, old school styled Bordeaux blend with a Castillian twist. Savory cherry, hints of sage leaf, green and black peppercorn and an unmistakable character of mature Cabernet family aromas (many people liken Mencia to Cabernet Franc, which completes this Graves style blend) make for one gorgeous bottle of wine. And Mariano Garcia made it at the same time he was busy working on Vega Sicilia “Unico,” which is a good few hundred dollars more. For fans of good, honest affordable bordeaux and old school California Cabs, this K&L exclusive could be right up your alley.”
What I Think:
Given I have a case of the ’05 in the cellar I had to take the opportunity to see how this one might age. This bottling, an interesting blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 30% Mencia, is the Spanish version of Bordeaux and seems it may be worthy of a name of its own (e.g Super Tuscan). Perhaps we should let the wine decide…
On the nose it shows gorgeous dark fruit and herbs. The palate shows dry cherries and black olives (with a hint of rhubarb) that frame themselves with a dry, cedar backbone. The finish shows this wines age with perfectly integrated tannins and spices that last and last. For those sensitive this wine may be overly dry but I still find it to be smooth, silky, and elegant. If you missed the chance to try the ’99 K&L Wines just sent me an email to let me know the 2000 (which they described as “more muscular, ageworthy, and a bit more impressive” is now in stock. I already added a bottle to my cart, hope it can deliver on their promise!
Thanks to Viva La Wino for tipping me off to this one! You can find his thoughts here.